A Study of The Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Table of ContentsThe Journey Begins . . .England in the Middle AgesFocus questionGeoffrey ChaucerThe Canterbury TalesTravelers to CanterburyChaucer’s Middle Ages PopulationSir Gawain and the Green KnightThe Green KnightSir GawainWorks Cited
The Journey Begins . . . In October 1066, a daylong battlenear Hastings, England, changed thecourse of history.
England in the Middle AgesFeudalism replaced the Nordic socialsystem. The primary duty of males above the serf class was to serve in the military—Knighthood. Women had no political rights. Chivalry and courtly love served as the system of social codes
England in the Middle AgesLower, middle, and upper-middle classesdeveloped in the cities.
England in the Middle AgesThe Crusades extended from 1095-1270. They brought contact with Eastern mathematics, astronomy, architecture, and crafts.
England in the Middle AgesThe Magna-Carta defeated papal centralpower.
England in the Middle AgesThe Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) wasthe first national war waged by England.
England in the Middle AgesThe Black Death (1348-1349) brought theend of the Middle Ages.Fleas on rats carried the bubonic plague which killedthousands of people. in Europe.
How do the writings of theMiddle Ages represent thelives, loves, loyalties, andhumor of humanity?Discover the answer by reading TheCanterbury Tales and Sir Gawain andthe Green Knight.
Geoffrey Chaucer c. 1343-1400 Considered the father of English poetry Wrote in the vernacular Served as a soldier, government servant, and member of Parliament Introduced iambic pentameter First writer buried in Westminster AbbeyLearn more about Chaucer. Go to. . .http://www.unc.edu/depts/chaucer/index.html
The Canterbury Tales: Snapshot of an Age It frames a story of characters on a religious pilgrimage to Canterbury. The characters are a concise portrait of an entire nation. The pilgrimage is a quest narrative that moves from images of spring and awakening to penance, death, and eternal life. The characters tell stories that reflect “everyman” in the universal pilgrimage of life.
The Travelers to Canterbury Working Class Plowman Cook Miller Reeve Host Haberdasher Dyer Carpenter Weaver Carpetmaker
The Travelers to Canterbury Professional Class Military Religious Secular Nun, 3 Priests, Friar, Parson, Cleric, Serjeant at Law, Merchant,Knight, Squire, Yeoman Pardoner, Summoner Skipper, Doctor
The Travelers to Canterbury Upper ClassWife of Bath Franklin
Chaucer’s Snapshot of the Middle Ages Population
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Have the rules of love changed? The Art of Courtly Love ( twelfth century document) listed several rules of love: No one can be bound by double love. The easy attainment of love makes it of little value. Difficulty of attainment makes it prized A new love puts flight to an old one. If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives
The Green KnightHe challenges KingArthur’s knights to aNew Year’s game.The Green Knight wantsto exchange “one blowfor another.”The stranger will standfor the first blow if theother knight will agreeto have his turn in a yearand a day.
Sir Gawain Sir Gawain accepts the Green Knight’s challenge. He honors his word and searches for the knight’s Green Chapel. Gawain finds a lord and his lady on his quest who offer him shelter on Christmas day. The lord has the lady tempt Sir Gawain three times on the rules of courtly love. Gawain resists--all but one advance. The Green Knight reveals himself to be the lord and spares Gawain for his
Works Cited HomeBrown, Ian. “The Green Knight.” 2002. May 16,2003 <http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/gawmenu.htm>.“Geoffrey Chaucer.” Elements of Literature SixthCourse. Ed. Robert R. Hoyt. Austin, 1977. T99.Pyle, Howard. “Sir Gawain the Son of Lot, Kingof Orkney.” 1903. May 16, 2003 <http://wwwlib.rochester.edu/camelot/gawmenu.htm>.“The Canterbury Tales: A Snapshot of an Age.”Elements of Literature Sixth Course. Ed. RobertR. Hoyt. Austin, 1977. T101-T104.